UXi® Commerce and AJAX indexing
Search engines use very sophisticated algorithms in order to find everything everywhere in the web. Still, they often need some help from site owners to index their sites accordingly to their expectations. Here, you will see how you can make your UXi® Commerce stores properly indexed.
UXi® Commerce uses the Google's AJAX indexing specification supported by the most popular search engines: Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yandex. As a result, UXi® Commerce has advantages from both worlds: dynamic AJAX and old-school plain-HTML. It is faster than usual shopping carts, can be installed to any website and mirrored to many places because of its AJAX nature AND it can be natively indexed by Google just as usual HTML website.
If you use our ready plugins for Wordpress or Joomla, everything already works, no additional measures are needed - if you have a paid UXi® Commerce account, your store products will automatically get to search results. Moreover, on each product page, the product information is structured using the special SEO-friendly format recommended by Google (so-called microdata), which helps search engines to produce rich snippets for your product pages in the search results.
Please refer to this article: Google AJAX indexing for your UXi® Commerce store
If you for some reason cannot use the abovementioned approach, you can consider another way - manual creating HTML site pages representing products and categories of you store. In such case, UXi® Commerce will have as strong SEO capabilities as your website/CMS has. You create separate pages, create clean URLs, unique titles and content using your CMS facilities and then power the pages with e-commerce using UXi® Commerce. This way works the best if you have a few products and categories.
How to do it:
- Create a separate page in your website/CMS per each category and/or product
- Place UXi® Commerce integration code on those pages and force it to show a particular category or product by default:
There isn't any pre-written instructions on how to succeed in SEO with any technology. SEO is always an experiment. The major search engines will teach you what content they expect, but they will never say: "Do exactly this and you are #1 in our rankings" - you have to find and refine that knowledge yourself (or find an expert). Tomorrow the thing that are likely to work may change and you then will have to change everything accordingly. However, there are some measures that in most cases lead to better SEO. Here are some of them we'd like to recommend:
- Optimize your site content - make it clear and useful. It is important to keep in mind that the content is what your visitors come to your site for (not keywords, friendly URLs and other 'tricks'). Try to make the content of your site really informative and interesting, so that it will not only attract visitors but keep them coming back. In particular, we'd recommend to pay attention to products titles and descriptions - they will appear in the search results snippets and then will be the first thing your visitors see on your site so it is worth making them clear and informative.
- Usually, as a general recommendation, they say linking is the key of being rated high by search engines. The more inbound links your site/store get, the higher its positions in the search results. So, try to promote your products and categories on your blog, social network page, public forums, partner sites etc. Of course, search engines's algorithms change over time and tomorrow the thing that are likely to work may change - e.g. they may say external links are not a factor anymore. But anyway, such links will always be an additional traffic source.
- Try to find out where your visitors come from and what exactly they search before they get to your site. With understanding of what your customers look for, you can further optimize your site content in order to provide both your potential customers and search engines's robots with more relevant information, which will more likely be useful for them. Such investigation can be done with the help of Google Analytics - analytics reports will show you which keywords are driving search traffic to your site and to which URLs. Please find the details on how to setup Google Analytics in your UXi® Commerce store here: Google Analytics in UXi® Commerce . Furthermore, with the knowledge of what keywords or search phrases your customers use, you can attract more visitors with setting up a Google AdWords campaign.
- Besides search engines, there are many possible traffic sources, which are often proven to be very effective. One of them - social networks - is getting more and more popular nowadays, so we'd highly recommend use it in your business. Please find more details in this article: Social features .
SEO is huge and, in most cases, very cheap source of traffic. However, the way search engines always change their crawling/ranking algorithms, a merchant should always keep an eye on the search robots algorithms and continuously implement the corresponding improvements on their site. UXi® Commerce and its CMS plugins also periodically change in order to meet variable requirements of SEO.
Given that the whole SEO thing is quite instable, one shouldn't fully rely on it for consistent traffic. So it would be a good idea to have other traffic channels. Moreover, some of those channels, like trending social networks, have long-term benefits in many aspects of marketing. Here is a few channels you can consider besides search engines:
Social networks are getting more and more popular nowadays, so we'd highly recommend use them in your business. There is a lot of ways you can get the traffic from social networks. Here is some of them:
a) Socialize and find an audience who cares about what you say and what you sell
Not only will they become your buyers, they will also evangelize your product or services to a friend, family or online social channel for you. Create a Facebook page representing your store (a business page) or a Twitter account and share your thoughts/updates/products/promotions there. With UXi® Commerce, you can share your products in FB and Twitter right from your control panel: How to share my products in Facebook and Twitter
b) Make it easy to buy your products right from the places of social activity
You can install your UXi® Commerce store on several storefronts simultaneously so, for example, if you think your blog becomes more crowdy place than your product site, just place your UXi® Commerce integration codes on the blog and your storefront will appear there. Another great approach is to add your UXi® Commerce store directly to your business page on Facebook so that your customers will be able to purchase from you right on Facebook. More details: Install your store on Facebook
c) Engage your customers to share your products with their friends and subscribers in social networks attracting more and more customers
UXi® Commerce supports many social share/like buttons to let your customers share the product they like. The buttons can be embedded in your storefront in one click: Share buttons
d) Make it easy for your customers to discuss your products in social networks
People like talking about things they are going to buy or sharing their thoughts about the things they have recently bought. Make it possible for your customers to post reviews and discuss your products right in your store and on their pages in social networks with the help of these UXi® Commerce's built-in features:
Please find more social features you can use with UXi® Commerce here: Social Features
Take part in theme discussions on the web sites where you can write about your store and products. For example, if you sell baby products, forums for mothers is most likely the place your potential customers can be reached at: help people to find and choose products they want, give a piece of advice and provide a link to your store. Another strategy is writing in the blogs allowing guest-posting: if your think some particular blog's subscribers could be your customers, it would be good idea to share your experience and mention your store in this blog.
People may say nobody likes ads. Still, the fact is ads work. There are many advertising services on the web, which you can use for your business. One of the most popular and reliable is Google Adwords - you may want to use it for your UXi® Commerce store. This article in our knowledge base will be helpful to set up tracking conversions from your Adwords campaign: http://kb.ecwid.com/w/page/49324505/Where%20do%20I%20place%20my%20Google%20Adwords%20tracking%20code
Make your partner sites drive traffic to your store. There are a lot of affiliate marketing approaches and, with UXi® Commerce, you have a truly unique one: since an UXi® Commerce store can be easily installed at several locations at the same time, you can sale directly on partners' sites! Just provide your affiliates with your UXi® Commerce integration code so that they place it somewhere on their sites - UXi® Commerce widgets with your full-functioning store will appear there. Find more details on how you can set it up in this article: Affiliate features.
Sites like Yahoo answers, Quora, Stackoverflow etc. can be a great traffic channel. Answer questions that have to do with the products/services you offer and do not forget to include a link back to your store when it makes sense - people will likely visit your site and probably become your customers.
If nothing prevents search engines to index your store, sooner or later, it will be indexed and the store pages will be listed among the search results (How can I check whether my store is indexed by Google?). However it usually takes from several days to 2-3 weeks for search robots to complete indexation of your site and to "find" all your product pages. If that doesn't happen and you think something is wrong, please follow these recommendations:
1. Please make sure the site and the store page themselves are available for indexation by search engines.
The Google AJAX crawling approach described in this article helps your products and categories to be indexed by search engines. But if the store page itself (or even the whole site ) cannot be indexed for some reason, then your products may not be indexed. There could be many reasons:
- something on your server prevents search robots from indexing your site or some of its parts (e.g. restriction rules 'robots.txt' file or malformed .htaccess)
- search engines don't see your site or store page, for example, in case of absence of external links to it. You can check whether your store page is indexed by Google, see this instruction.
2. Try to force indexation of your store.
In general, linking is the main key of being indexed by search engines. In order to force indexation of your store you will need to place a link to your store page (or even to particular product pages) somewhere on your site. Also, having external links to your store somewhere on the web is good for indexation. Moreover, the amount of inbound links to your store and its products is one of the most powerful factors influencing the position of the store pages in search results. Also, they usually recommend creating a sitemap and submit it to the search engines of interest (for example to Webmaster tools for Google).
3. If everything is properly set up, but your store is still not indexed, please create a new thread on our forums - we will inspect your store.
It may happen that your store's pages are not listed among the first 10, 20 or 30 search results when you search by some particular phrase. Thus it may be difficult to check whether your products are indexed at all. In such cases, try to find your products in Google using a more specific search queries like this one:
In the query above, replace 'yoursite.com/store.php' with the actual URL of your store page. Such a search query will limit the results to show your product pages only, so you will know whether your products are indexed by Google or not.